Theatres may all be currently closed thanks to COVID-19, while some studios find new ways of releasing their movies directly to On Demand or streaming services instead. But for a big Hollywood blockbuster, they simply would not be able to recoup their production investment using those channels and the traditional commercial power of cinema is still needed if they want to see a tidy profit.
For a movie like Christopher Nolan’s Tenet, that reportedly cost well over $200 million to make, Warner Bros. Pictures wants to see a return on its investment. Something which is normally never an issue considering how each one of Nolan’s films have been massive successes at the box office. So when it came to Tenet possibly being released on streaming platforms, the director himself reportedly pushed back on the idea. In a recorded message for CineEurope 2020 (and published by Deadline), Nolan has provided a reason why he wants to ensure this movie gets seen in cinemas and isn’t rushed into a home release format:
We’re in the final throes of it. I don’t want to say too much about it other than we’re extraordinarily excited about what we’ve been able to do with this material. I think of all the films that I’ve made, this is perhaps the one that is most designed for the audience experience, the big screen experience. This is a film whose image and sound really needs to be enjoyed in your theatres on the big screen and we’re very very excited for you to see what it is we’ve done.
We’ve made big films in the past, but this is a film whose global reach and level of action is beyond anything we’ve ever attempted before. I think we only would have been able to pull off this film with the level of experience we’ve had doing action films in the past. The movie has an incredible ensemble cast led by John David Washington who gives the most extraordinary and iconic performance as the protagonist at the heart of Tenet and I cannot wait for you guys to see what he’s done with his character.
I’m very much looking forward to sharing the film with you. I’m going to get back to finishing it right now and I look forward to your reaction.
Nolan has already directed some of the biggest action movies in history, so the thought of him directing something even bigger and more ground-breaking is mouth-watering indeed. Without a doubt, this is a movie that deserves to and should be seen in cinemas. Sadly, as impressive as it all sounds, I’m not quite sure it’s enough to justify many people braving a global pandemic to get out and watch it and the reasons don’t really explain why it couldn’t have just been delayed to a more favourable time like December or further into 2021.
Whether fans could even possibly hold out that long is another story entirely, as anticipation for what exactly is going on in those trailers is definitely filling everyone’s minds. Not only does Tenet appear to have some form of time manipulation taking place, but with Nolan promising a spectacle bigger than anything he has ever been before with even bigger stakes at play, I’m not sure fans would be able to contain themselves for that long. Thankfully though, in an interview with Entertainment Weekly, acclaimed actor Kenneth Branagh did drop some details about how the film will deal with the greatest disaster to ever face the human race.
It’s an espionage piece that’s dealing with a global threat to the world. A nuclear holocaust is not the greatest disaster that could befall the human race. Tenet discusses an even worse possibility, and it is wrapped up in this mind-boggling treatment of time that continues Chris Nolan’s preoccupations in films way back to Memento, through Interstellar and Inception.
I’m a massive Nolan fan and desperately want to see this movie, though even I am not sure I would be willing to trek to the cinema to go and watch it. At least not so soon. Though I would be prepared to fork out a huge amount of money at a drive-in to see this, so that could just be how I can get to see this if the film still releases at the end of July.
Last Updated: June 22, 2020